Pink Cana Flecha Beach Tote

Cana Flecha Beach Tote is big enough for everyday use or as an eye-catching beach bag. Cana Flecha is stronger and more durable than typical straw bags. It is a type of palm which is colored with natural dyes, then cut into strips and woven together. Cana flecha is hand-woven using a braiding technique passed down through teh generations by the Sinú tribe of Colombia. Weaving helps them to sustain their traditional way of life. Pink Cana Flecha Beach Tote is approximately 15″W x 11″H and includes a cell phone pocket on the inside.

Half Moon Cana Flecha Handbag

Half Moon Cana Flecha Handbag is hand-woven using a braiding technique passed down through the generations by the Sinú tribe of Colombia. Cana Flecha is a type of palm which is dyed with natural colors, then stripped and woven together. Palm is not brittle or breakable and will stay beautiful for many seasons. The bag is approximately 15″L x 7″H and perfect for everyday use!

Children & Fair Trade Part 2

Last week, I talked about an energetic group of kids that we met in Pondicherry, India. They came from a poor area of the city, but as unfortunate as the situation they lived in was in some ways, in others they were extremely fortunate. They went to school, were clean and well-fed, and lived in neighborhoods with families to care for them.

Remembering those kids made me think about the ones that we saw fleetingly- shoe-shine boys on the main square in Sucre, Bolivia, insistent trinket-hawkers in Mumbai, street jugglers in Medellin. They’re ubiquitous. Many of them are helping out their families, bringing in extra income, but 1.2 million children per year are trafficked illegally throughout the world. It’s s huge problem, but there are many organizations intent on eradication through education, to help us start asking our own questions of the purchases that we make and to bring it closer to home for us.

One group doing this is MTV EXIT. A few years ago, they used a song from Radiohead, one of my favorite bands, to help spread the message. “[It’s] a video of two parallel stories, one of a little boy in the West and one of a little boy in a sweatshop in the East. It’s actually quite powerful,” Yorke said. “It’s the sort of images I have in my head anyway. Sometimes when you’re walking down High Street and you’re looking at the incredibly cheap [sneakers], you sort of think, ‘Hmmm, well how did they manage to make that so cheaply?’ It sort of reminds me of one of my preoccupations, so I’m touched that the music goes with that. I think it’s great.” I think it’s great, too, and hope that you enjoy it & share it with your friends!

Events this week

We don’t have any events scheduled next week, but will see you at Wiregrass again in two weeks! 

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – Check out the events we have coming up in July!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

[email protected]

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

Children & Fair Trade

The Big Impact That Your small decision Can Make

We meet a lot of kids on our travels and they always turn memorable experiences into unforgettable ones. One that makes me laugh happened in Pondicherry, India. Our friend Christine was showing us around a small fishing village close to where she was doing an internship, just on the outskirts of the city. The area is very poor, but the view of the Bay of Bengal is breathtaking. We meandered along the dirt roads, past the small shacks with corrugated tin roofs, as school was getting out.

One thing that most Indian children are not is shy. They love to talk to you in English- “HI! HI! How are YOU?” – love having their pictures taken, and, like all kids, love candy & treats. Some travelers are against giving out sweets or little gifts to kids, thinking that it makes them expect handouts, but seeing how little they have, I can’t help but want to indulge them a bit.

We didn’t have any sweets, but Bref had a sheet of shamrock stickers in his pocket (being the good Irishman that he is!) A group of four kids posed for a photo for us, and as a thank you, Bref gave them each a sticker. We started to walk along again, when suddenly, four more kids came tearing around the corner, asking for a sticker, and another four, and another four, all jumping up and down saying, “Hi! Hi! Hi!” Before he knew it, he was completely surrounded. A few adults popped their heads out of their homes, checking to see what the commotion was, and laughed along with Christine and me as Bref attempted to worm his way out of the crowd once the stickers were gone. The kids were so excited, showing off their stickers to each other with huge smiles on their faces. Their happiness was so simple, like nothing else in the world mattered but having that cool new sticker.

 

 

 

 

 

That simple joy was what we encountered with kids everywhere- from India to Peru to Ecuador & Colombia. No matter what conditions children may be living in, their constant enthusiasm and openness surprises me every time. I loved reading this article about the amazing impact of fair trade on children in the communities that it is practiced. It illustrates how making a small decision as a consumer in the first world can either help or hinder the lives of future generations in the developing world. We give our kids the best that we have to offer, and buying fair trade helps parents in developing world to do the same for their children, too.  That’s why we love working with certified Fair Trade Co-ops and with the artisans that we do, because the effects of improved living are felt and shared within each community.

Events this week

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – Check out the events we have coming up in July!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

[email protected]

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

 

India’s Recycling + Handmade Jewelry Industry

cfm-community-friendly-movement

Indian Recycling + Jewelry Industry

India’s Thriving Recycling Industry

India is an incredible country, not just because of its vastness or beauty, but also because of the people. They say that Indians must have more love for each other than the rest of the world because if other cultures had to exist in such close proximity, they would tear one another apart. Everything there happens on the street and can be overwhelming to witness. Life, death, baths, poverty, cooking, joy- it’s all right there for anyone to see. The machine of life is constantly in motion and the people are a part of that.

When we first arrived in Mumbai, I was in awe of it, but there was one thing that completely disgusted me. People just threw their trash right on the ground, on the street, not bothering to find a garbage can, if there ever was one. Having the American sensibilities that I do and being a (somewhat) orderly person, it was a constant source of disdain. So I mentioned it to my friend Charmaine, who is from there and still lives there. That’s when she pointed out what I had missed.

“Sarah, there are whole communities that make a living off of that. The ragpickers bring the trash-plastic, glass, metal- that’s thrown away back to the slum, where it is processed, recycled, and sold back to the general population. It’s not a perfect system, but it was made into one out of resourcefulness and need.”

And she’s right, it’s not ideal. But these people created and industry and income for themselves by doing what they could to survive. After she pointed that out, I started to see that resourcefulness and eagerness in many of the personalities I met and behaviors that I noticed. That idea of fighting and making something out of nothing is one that India taught me.

So this weekend, we’re having a sale on bracelets from our partners at Community Friendly Movement, a fair trade organization based out of New Delhi, India. They provide support and sustainable income for artisan communities in the rural regions of India. Many of the pieces are made of recycled materials- discarded wood, glass, wire, etc- that are then repurposed into beautiful, unique jewelry that you will love!

Impulse of Color Five Turn Bracelet

cfm-community-friendly-movement

Wood Bead Wrap Bracelet

 

 

 

 

 

Events this week

 

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – Next week we’ll back in Ybor and Harbour Island, too!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

[email protected]

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

 

Alegre Horizon Medallion Earrings

  • This image of the sun over the horizon is a reminder of the promise of a new day.
  • Each figure is formed and painted by hand and filled with precious stones and metals.
  • They hang approximately 1″ from hypo-allergenic silver french hooks.
  • Go to Ilsa Joy for more information on this artisan!

Non-Profit Medical Organization: Amigos de Salud

Amigos de Salud in Ecuador

When Bref and I left on our trip to India and South America, I knew that we would see scenes of real poverty and would get an opportunity to help out along the way. One of those opportunities was with Amigos de Salud, literally “Friends of Health”.

Amigos de Salud is a volunteer non-profit medical organization which provides medical and surgical care to underserved areas of the world. They recruit doctors and medical professionals from the US to fly to these places (on their own dime and vacation time!) to set up a clinic and see patients…THOUSANDS of patients, many of whom have never seen a doctor before. They hand out medications, medical advice, eyeglasses, etc. They perform much needed surgeries- gallbladder removals, hernias, treat unhealed fractures, club feet and others, procedures that are usually unattainable for people in the areas they go to.

We met up with the group in Riobamba, Ecuador, thanks to my dear friend Kiris, who organizes the trips. The experience in one word? INCREDIBLE! The experience in multiple words? Exhausting, touching, eye-opening, hilarious, mayhem! We weren’t sure exactly what we would be doing, not having any medical experience, but didn’t have to wait too long to find out. Bref wins my award for Most Patient Waiting Room Organizer. My six-foot tall, red-headed husband had about seven, five-foot tall local women surrounding him at all times, each one “next in line” for all of the doctors available, and over a hundred people in the waiting room at any given time. I don’t think I’ve seen him with that much patience before or since.

Mostly, I stayed in the pediatric clinic, translating and bribing children with Dora the Explorer stickers and toys to keep them from crying. This was the first time most of them had ever been to the doctor. Mothers and caretakers piled in with three kids and a baby in tow, taking long buses from the mountain villages where they lived. The children were all adorable, with smiles on their faces but also windburn on their cheeks from the climate. The mothers worried that their children were too skinny, too short, “gordito” (chubby), weren’t doing well in school- worries any mother has- but most of the kids also had signs of intestinal parasites, a common problem when drinking water is not clean and purified. There are a few I still wonder about- the two-week old baby with a full cleft lip and palette- when he cried you saw all the way into his nasal cavity, a three-year old boy with signs of autism, two pretty sisters with angry, red eczema rashes covering their bodies. By the end of the week, the pediatric group saw hundreds of families and had given out most of what we had- badly needed medicines, vitamins, clothes, shoes, and toys.

                         

This year’s destination is Matagalpa, Nicaragua in July. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America after Haiti. As I mentioned, volunteers of Amigos de Salud pay for their own transportation, hotels, food, and all other expenses, but the really important things- the medications, medical equipment, and supplies- are paid for by donations. So, if you’re looking to donate to a grass-roots non-profit medical organization, this is a wonderful cause. www.amigosdesalud.org and click on the donate button. We certainly will be!

Events this week

Out enjoying the sunshine and the breeze this weekend. Come and see our beautiful new hand-woven bags from Colombia!

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – For more info and our full schedule.

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

[email protected]

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

Celtic Knot Wheel of Life

  • Celtic Knot Wheel of Life is a truly unique piece of wearable art.
  • The Wheel of Life represents the unity of all life within the physical, mental and spiritual sphere.
  • Each Celtic Wheel of Life is designed and hand-cut by the artist.
  • The wood used to make this necklace is re-purposed from the guitar-making process.
  • The pendant is approximately 2″  in circumference.
  • The Celtic Knot Wheel of Life will naturally polish and condition when you wear it.
  • Check out Fretmajic for more information on this artisan!

Celtic Spiral Necklace

  • Celtic Spiral Necklace is designed and cut by hand.
  • The wood used to make this necklace is re-purposed from the guitar-making process.
  • Celtic Spiral Design represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
  • The pendant hangs approximately 1″  from a leather cord.
  • The Celtic Spiral Necklace will naturally polish and condition when you wear it.
  • Check out Fretmajic for more information on this artisan!

Flower Pendant with Silver Inlays

  • Each Flower Pendant is designed and cut by hand using different types of wood.
  • The Flower Pendant features silver and abalone inlays.
  • The wood used to make this necklace is re-purposed from the guitar-making process.
  • The wood piece will be polished & conditioned naturally the longer it is worn.
  • The piece is almost 1 & 1/3″ in diameter.
  • Choose between a natural adjustable leather cord or an 18″ silver plated snake chain (add $4)
  • Check out Fretmajic for more information on this artisan!

Celtic Trinity Knot Necklace

  • Celtic Trinity Knot is designed and cut by hand.
  • The wood used to make this necklace is re-purposed from the guitar-making process.
  • Celtic Trinity Knot represents the interlocking of the physical, mental, and spiritual world.
  • The pendant hangs approximately 1″  from a leather cord.
  • The Celtic Trinity Knot will naturally polish and condition when you wear it.
  • Check out Fretmajic for more information on this artisan!

Celtic Cross Pendant

  • Celtic Cross Pendant is designed and cut by hand.
  • The wood used to make this necklace is re-purposed from the guitar-making process.
  • The Celtic Cross is known for its ties to Christianity, but also symbolizes the sun and the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water)
  • The pendant hangs approximately 1″  from a leather cord.
  • The Celtic Cross will become more polished and conditioned the more it is worn.
  • Check out Fretmajic for more information on this artisan!